Blackstone SEZ
The private equity firm with its headquarters in the US, Blackstone has invested Rs.450cr in Eon Free Zone, a special economic zone (SEZ) developed by Pune-based real estate player, the Panchshil Realty after acquiring its 50% stake in the project. Eon Free Zone, which is country's first notified information technology (IT) SEZ, spans 4.5 million sq. ft and was jointly developed by Panchshil and Ireo Management Private Limited, a private equity (PE) fund. In 2012, Panchshil Realty acquired the 50% stake held by Ireo Management in Eon for Rs.30cr and this stake has now been sold to Blackstone.

According to sources, the rental value of the project is Rs.40 per sq. ft, per month and Panchshil has investors such as Morgan Stanley and Xander Group and has developed over 12 million square feet of real estate. It is in the process of developing over 21 million sq. ft of corporate parks, SEZs, hotels and villas. Blackstone is strengthening its core assets and it is a good deal for them. Eon Free Zone is a high spec (premium) building. PE investments in both residential and commercial properties rose in 2012 even as property sales slowed last year. The total value of PE investments in real estate rose 7% to Rs.6,200cr in 2012. In terms of value, a majority of the investments were noted in ready income generating/operational office assets (commercial properties that are easy to lease) at Rs.3,230cr and saw an increase of 34% over 2011.